Many types and varieties of hyperthermia (heat treatment) are used in conventional cancer care, and some additional uses are being explored for improving survival and reducing risk of recurrence.

Hyperthermia at a glance

Hyperthermia is a type of treatment in which tumors or body tissues are heated as high as 113°F (45°C) to damage or kill cancer cells, sometimes with little or no harm to normal tissue. Many different techniques are used to create heat and introduce it to tumors and cancerous tissues. Treatment outcomes with some cancer types and hyperthermia therapies have been impressive, although application of hyperthermia is still regarded as experimental or even complementary in many situations. Hyperthermia is often used along with conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Higher doses seem to be more effective for controlling several types of cancer, although they may also increase unwanted side effects. Hyperthermia has also been used successfully to reduce risk of recurrence and for clearing viruses that increase risk of primary cancer. 

Hyperthermia is classified in three broad categories depending on how much tissue is heated:

  1. Local hyperthermia, in which only the tumor and perhaps some surrounding tissue are heated
  2. Regional hyperthermia, in which a part of the body, such as an organ, limb, or body cavity is heated
  3. Whole-body hyperthermia, in which the entire body is placed in a heated chamber or hot water bath or wrapped with heated blankets 

CancerChoices ratings for hyperthermia

We rate hyperthermia on seven attributes, with 0 the lowest rating and 5 the highest. We rate the strength of the evidence supporting the use of hyperthermia for a medical benefit, such as improving treatment outcomes or managing side effects.

See how we evaluate and rate complementary therapies ›


Improving treatment outcomes

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Optimizing your body terrain

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Managing side effects and promoting wellness

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Reducing cancer risk

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Use by integrative oncology experts

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Affordability and access

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Keep reading about hyperthermia


Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher and writer for CancerChoices and also served as the first program manager. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher

Andrew Jackson, ND

Research Associate
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Andrew Jackson, ND, serves as a CancerChoices research associate. As a naturopathic physician practicing in Kirkland, Washington, he teaches critical evaluation of the medical literture at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. His great appreciation of scientific inquiry and the scientific process has led him to view research with a critical eye.

Andrew Jackson, ND Research Associate


Susan Yaguda, MSN, RN

Manager at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute and CancerChoices Clinical Consultant
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Susan Yaguda, MSN, RN, has been a nurse for nearly 40 years, working in a variety of healthcare settings. She currently works in Charlotte, North Carolina, at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute as the manager for Integrative Oncology and Cancer Survivorship. She works with a multidisciplinary team to deliver holistic, evidence-based support and education for patients and care partners at any point along the trajectory of cancer care. She completed the Integrative Oncology Scholars Program through the University of Michigan in 2020, is certified as an Integrative Health Coach through Duke Integrative Medicine and has a post-graduate certificate in Nursing Education from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Susan also was awarded the Planetree International Scholar’s Award in 2018 and was recognized by the Daisy Foundation for Nurse Leadership in 2021. Susan has a particular interest in empowering patients and care partners with knowledge to help drive informed decision making and educating nurses on the benefits of integrative care for patients and self-care. She has presented nationally and internationally on integrative oncology and nursing education.

She and her husband, Mark, have two adult children and a very spoiled foxhound. She enjoys hiking, knitting, cooking, and pickleball.

“As a frequent consumer of Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, and now CancerChoices, for both professional education and patient support, it is an honor to have the opportunity to engage with the dedicated team at CancerChoices to serve those impacted by this disease.”  


Susan Yaguda, MSN, RN Manager at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute and CancerChoices Clinical Consultant

Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO

Co-Founder and Medical Director of Integrated Health Clinic
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Dr. Gurdev Parmar is co-founder and medical director of the largest naturopathic health care facility in Canada, the Integrated Health Clinic (IHC). He is licensed in both British Columbia, Canada, and Washington State, USA.

Dr. Parmar has launched the IHC Research Department with researchers and statisticians now on staff, with publishing patient outcomes on the horizon. He is also the residency director and primary teaching supervisor of a naturopathic oncology residency at IHC, a CNME-approved postdoctoral training facility for Bastyr University.

Dr. Parmar established locoregional hyperthermia treatment in Canada in 2009, and in 2018, he was nominated president of the International Clinical Hyperthermia Society (ICHS). He has served on numerous boards over the years, including an appointment to the OncANP Delphi Panel which has begun building consensus statements for the naturopathic oncology field, the first of which was published in Integrative Cancer Therapies.

Dr. Parmar writes and lectures internationally on a wide variety of topics, including clinical hyperthermia, the tumour microenvironment, and integrative cancer care. He has served on the editorial board of several medical journals and is the lead author and editor-in-chief of the Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide of Integrative Cancer Care, as well as the Pearlz Clinical eBook Series. Dr. Parmar recently published a timely book, Arming the Immune System: The Incredible Power of Natural Immunity & the Fever Response.

Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO Co-Founder and Medical Director of Integrated Health Clinic

Last update: April 11, 2024

Last full literature review: March 2023

We are grateful for research support from Ma Victoria Acuña.

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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